Most Viewed Stories
New Rep. LaMalfa takes oath of office
From Richvale farmer to Washington politician, Rep. Doug LaMalfa is now an official member of the 113th Congress of the United States.
LaMalfa, R-Richvale, representing the state's First Congressional District, took the oath of office in the chambers of the United States House of Representatives. House Speaker John Boehner administered the oath on Thursday.
The district includes parts of Glenn County and all of Tehama County. LaMalfa used to represent Colusa County in the state Senate.
"It is exciting to be here," LaMalfa said. "Walking into the House chambers left me with a great and deep sense of honor. The depth of tradition that you feel is tangible. I felt that I was on very hallowed ground."
LaMalfa was voted into office in November, filling the seat left vacant when Rep. Wally Herger retired. Herger endorsed LaMalfa for the office. LaMalfa said he is honored to be Herger's friend and to be able to continue many of his efforts in government.
"My first official duty was on Thursday with the speaker of the house vote," LaMalfa said. "Then on Friday we voted on getting the Hurricane Sandy FEMA relief fund flowing."
He said the House has a lot of work to do this year, with many important and critical issue to address. "On the national level we have to tone back government spending and regulations, and address the deficit. That is the only way we can develop a productive economy that flourishes," LaMalfa said. "The regulatory load is stifling the economy. We need to work on developing better energy production to bring down the cost of energy, no matter the source."
He said it is important to recognize that many of the needed changes are the result of "an overzealous government and that many of the solutions will come from restraining its growth."
On a more localized level, he wants to help with what he calls "customer service or case work," helping people to deal with government agencies that "are on their backs."
"We are going to focus on the local economy. Factors such as the timber industry and getting the Quincy Library Group started. That is an area we will be working to find an agreeable solution with Sen. Diane Feinstein and her office. We will also be working on water policy and developing a Farm Bill," LaMalfa said. "We have a temporary Farm Bill in place right now but come September will we have to make big changes to it and change the way the policy works and its costs."
On the immediate horizon, LaMalfa said it is the debt ceiling that has to be addressed.
"If we thought the fiscal cliff was a tough fight, I believe the debt ceiling will be much worse. The presidential campaign is over and the lines are clearly drawn. On the fiscal cliff the republicans gave in to a lot of stuff they didn't want to or believe in, but I don't see that happening on the debt ceiling debate. It will probably be much worse of a fight," said the congressman.
In describing the dynamics of the fiscal cliff fight, he said the two sides stalled waiting on the outcome of the presidential election.
"That in-part created the lateness, and then with President Obama winning the election, the republican party's leverage was limited so we have to live with the outcome," LaMalfa said.
The 84 freshman members, when joined with the freshman members from 2011, mean that a large portion of the House has spent two or fewer years in the Capitol.
"It is a new congress with a lot of new folks and we are going to buckle down and accomplish the things that need to be done this year," LaMalfa stated.
Following the swearing-in ceremony, LaMalfa said he is hopeful Congress can change Washington for the better.
"I am committed to forging agreements that represent the North State's values and excited to officially begin this fight to protect our way of life. The constituents of California's First District have my sincere thanks and respect, and I look forward to serving them in the House," he said.
California's 1st Congressional District includes Butte, Glenn, Lasses, Mood, Nevada, Placer, Plumes, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama counties.